LS passes Finance Bill without discussion

LS passes Finance Bill without discussion

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Finance Bill, 2020 by voice vote and without holding any debate in the backdrop of COVID-19 outbreak, which has claimed seven lives in the country.

The opposition parties, including the Congress and DMK, however, sought for a special financial package in the wake of COVID-19 before the Bill was passed.

Soon after the House assembled at 2 p.m. — a first ever move — it took the Bill moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for consideration and passing.

The Bill gives effect to the financial proposals of the Central government for the financial year 2020-21. In the Union Budget 2020-2021, the government proposed to spend Rs 30,42,230 crore in 2020-21, which is 12.7 per cent higher than the revised estimate of 2019-20.

The receipts are expected to increase by 16.3 per cent to Rs 22,45,893 crore, owing to higher estimated revenue from disinvestments. The government has assumed a nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 10 per cent in 2020-21. The nominal growth estimate for 2019-20 was 12 per cent.

Leader of opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury requested for a financial package in the wake of spread of COVID-19, the deadly virus which has infected over 400 people and claimed seven lives.

“Announce for a Financial package in the wake of coronavirus. You can pass the Bill, we have no problem,” Chowdhury said. Interrupting Chowdhury, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked him to raise the issue after the Bill was passed.

“I had talked all floor leaders of the House from all parties. They had assured me that the Bill will be passed without any discussion as in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic,” Birla said. Chowdhury said we are ready to pass the Bill without the discussion but we can put our demands. DMK leader T. R. Ballu also requested the government to announce financial package considering the pandemic.

“I request the Prime Minister to announce a proper financial package for poor and other sections of the society. This is a very extreme situation after the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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